The Hamptons Guide
NYC’s playground seems to change almost as much as the city itself. Every summer brings a brand-new group of shops, restaurants, and workout studios to the crowds that descend on this bucolic strip of coast. We spent the winter and spring combing through all the new outposts to find the places we’re most excited about—whether it’s SoulAnnex classes in a converted barn in Bridgehampton or the lobster rolls and wood-fired pizzas at the reinvented East Hampton favorite Moby’s. We’re also happy to be back this year with another goop pop-up, this time in Sag Harbor, where we’ve filled a classic bayside cottage with a summer-themed range of fashion, home, and beauty items to try—though we’d love you to come by just to hang out in the backyard garden. Summer is finally here, and it’s brought with it all the places we spent the winter dreaming about.
Highway Restaurant290 Montauk Hwy., East Hampton | 631.527.5372
Locals and summer regulars may remember this barn-like space as the home of Highway Diner (and a slew of short-lived occupants before it), and while there's nothing wrong with no-frills diner food, they'll be happy to hear that its been replaced by Highway Restaurant. It's helmed by the folks behind Shuko and Eleven Madison Park, so the experience is decidedly more elevated, with zero pretense. The focus here is on classic American food: chicken pot pie, rib-eye, and ample veggie dishes. Though not exactly traditional American fare, the pork bun appetizer is a must. Order two.
Pierre’s Bridgehampton2468 Main St., Bridgehampton | 631.537.5110
This is the kind of classic go-to that caters to a more grown-up Hamptons crowd (lots of white pants, loafers, and pastel sweaters). That said, it's actually really fun and kind of buzzy. The mussels are always top-notch, and the bar is perpetually two to three people deep—even so, their dirty martini is totally worth it.
Wölffer Kitchen29 Main St., Sag Harbor | 631.725.0101
Considering that it's backed by the family that brought us East End institution Wölffer Vineyard, this restaurant (the first of two Hamptons locations; the other is in Amagansett) is pretty much guaranteed to be a hit. The Sag Harbor location features a mix of American cuisine and Mediterranean influences, with, of course, an extensive wine list.
Beacon8 W. Water St., Sag Harbor | 631.725.7088
While there's no lack of seafood joints in this neck of the woods, this dockside restaurant in Sag Harbor is the ideal place to indulge (the parchment baked halibut is unreal) while catching the sunset on the sprawling patio overlooking the bay.
Vine Street Café41 South Ferry Rd., Shelter Island | 631.749.3210
The seafood at this Shelter Island gem is pretty outstanding—the Bouillabaisse alone is worth a ferry ride from the mainland. All cooking is done by couple Terry Harwood and Lisa Murphy, and ingredients are sourced exclusively from local purveyors. Take a bit of the magic home with you from the adjoining market, were you'll find fresh foods to-go as well as sauces, pastas, and a slew of gourmet pantry-essentials.
La Fondita74 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett | 631.267.8800
This is a great snack stop for casual and authentic Mexican dishes like tacos, tortas, and sopa de tortilla. The food is all freshly made, including the tortillas.
Joni’sSouth Etna Plaza, Montauk | 631.668.3663
A must-stop for Montauk's surfers, Joni Brosnan's shop serves up healthy sandwiches, salads, smoothies, the popular protein-rich breakfast wraps, and more. Click here for some of our go-to recipes.
Hampton Chutney Co.6 Amagansett Sq., Amagansett | 631.267.3131
This is a classic stop in Amagansett thanks to their trademark chutneys and delicious dosas. Order to-go and take them on the beach.
Suki Zuki688 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill | 631.726.4600
This just might be the best sushi in the Hamptons. The Chicken Teriyaki Salad and the "Tuna Sandwich" are both particularly popular choices.
Topping Rose House Restaurant1 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Tpk., Bridgehampton | 631.537.0870
This restaurant brought on Jean-Georges Vongerichten as a consulting chef, and while he's given the menu a bit of a culinary makeover, you can still expect to find vegetable-forward dishes sourced from the property's one-acre farm. The weekend brunch is especially great.
Ruschmeyer’s161 Second House Rd., Montauk | 631.668.2877
The laid-back, camp style vibe of Ruschmeyer's makes it a draw for New Yorkers looking to unplug over the weekend. Always packed, its family friendly weekdays offer celebrity comedy acts, bingo, outdoor movies, and campfire s'mores. As for the menu, it's always solid; this summer they've teamed up with Brooklyn's Freehold to host brunch every weekend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Navy Beach16 Navy Rd., Montauk | 631.668.6868
Since this is right on the beach, it's perfect for families: The kids can run free while you put down a beer and some fish tacos.
LT Burger62 Main St., Sag Harbor | 631.899.4646
This is an elevated burger shack: Their Heritage Turkey Burger is fantastic, as are their classic burgers, shakes, s’mores, and ice cream desserts.
Clam Bar2025 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett | 631.267 6348
For those nights when you want to indulge in all things fried, this roadside stand with plastic chairs and paper plates is the place to go. It's a total institution that's been serving fried clams, lobster rolls, clam chowder, and more to families for over 30 years.
Westlake Fish House352 Westlake Dr., Montauk | 631.668.3474
In the same vein as many old-school Montauk establishments, this relative newcomer offers a particular brand of no-frills dockside dining with a modernized menu, making it a nice antidote to the traditional Hamptons scene. Whether you go for lunch or dinner, the pull is the fresh fish, from very good, very well-priced sushi to fish tacos to the swordfish BLT.
Page at 63 Main63 Main St., Sag Harbor | 631.725.1810
Devoted to local and organic (chances are that the veggies in your order are from their on-site hydroponic garden), this Sag Harbor mainstay now has a market and café in the back, though we usually stop by to stock up for beach picnics. Opt for the grilled portobello mushrooms over quinoa and tuna tartare, which are both delicious.
East Hampton Grill99 N. Main St., East Hampton | 631.329.6666
Open since 2011, this restaurant has become a year-round local staple, mainly due to the fact that it’s a departure from the bright, beach-y look that occupies most of the Hamptons. Instead—outfitted in dark wood, with bookshelves dividing the dining room space—East Hampton Grill has the vibe of a neighborhood tavern. Plus, the food is just great, if admittedly indulgent: for one, the “Heavenly Biscuits” with rosemary, butter, and honey are hard to pass up.
Grey Lady440 W. Lake Dr., Montauk | 631.210.6249
This New England-inspired bar and restaurant—with locations in New York, on Nantucket, and in Aspen—now has a spot in Montauk. The lobster roll is a Grey Lady favorite, as is the Dark 'n' Stormy. Don't overlook the local seafood dishes, though, like monkfish served with asparagus and fava beans.
Jue Lan Club268 Elm St., Southampton | 631.353.3610
The Hamptons isn't exactly known for its Chinese food, which made the opening of Jue Lan Club in Southampton—the original location is in NYC’s Flatiron district—especially noteworthy. The food here is upscale-Chinese, both classic and modern, which translates to spare ribs and pork fried rice or “drunken” black bass with chiles and braised oxtail with bao buns. Jue Lan Club also brought its night scene to Southampton: It’s open until 4am on the weekends, as the club-ish attachment of the restaurant, known as The Barn (which also serves as an art space), gets going sometime after 11pm.
EMP Summer House341 Pantigo Rd., East Hampton
Chef Daniel Humm’s (also of Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park) die-hard fans can follow his talents to East Hampton this summer and dine at his much more laid back pop-up. Expect fresh, local American fare that speaks to the season, including a traditional lobster boil, fried chicken feast, and a la carte options. Housed in a massive farmhouse, the space has a large indoor dining room, along with tented area, picnic tables, and games across the backyard. No doubt with all the early buzz this winter, this reservation will be a tricky one to snag this summer. Photos: American Express.
Wölffer Kitchen Amagansett4 Amagansett Square Drive, Amagansett | 631.267.2764
Given the popularity of their first restaurant in Sag Harbor, it seemed only natural the Wölffers opened a second outpost. The Amagansett location has a more casual, communal feel with a rosé-fueled menu that focuses on fresh, shareable dishes like Peconic oysters, ahi tuna tacos, and zucchini noodles.
The Springs Tavern15 Fort Pond Blvd., East Hampton | 631.527.7800
We’re all about summertime casual, which is why we like this cozy, American gastropub, located in the building that once housed Wolfie’s Tavern. It’s the perfect place to grab a (veggie) burger and a beer and watch the game on one of the many TVs. Bonus: There's a good live band lineup for most of the summer.
Lulu Kitchen & Bar126 Main Street, Sag Harbor | 631.725.0900
The leather chairs, exposed brick, and large wood burning oven make this a cozy spot to grab lunch or dinner. The menu focuses on local ingredients woven into new and classic European dishes like wood fired pizza, grilled fish, and organic roast chicken, all showcasing Chef Philippe Corbet's love for wood-burning cuisine.
Calissa1020 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill | 631.500.9292
James Mallios, one of the partners behind this Greek eatery, has been vacationing on Mykonos for the last two decades, so his time spent on the island well-informs the menu–with mainstays including whole Montauk dorade with olives, fennel, and capers, and farro salad with Turkish apricot, toasted almonds, and manouri cheese.
The Crow’s Nest Restaurant4 Old W. Lake Dr., Montauk | 631.668.2077
Go to the Crow's Nest's restaurant for the same reason you'd stay at the hotel—the incredible atmosphere created by Sean McPherson's incredible eye. Indoors, the vibe is an eclectic mix of design pieces that still feels thoroughly Hamptons—whiteboard walls are decorated with earthy mud cloths and pirate flags, and Mediterranean mezze platters and hearty salads are served on warm wooden boards. If possible, book a table on their outdoor patio or—better yet—on the lawn, where four-tops are situated under elegant wooden cabanas.
The Maidstone Restaurant207 Main St., East Hampton | 631.324.5006
As part of the Maidstone's new revamp this summer, the hotel brought in Chef David Strandridge (of Cafe Clover) to redo the breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus. Like at Standridge's West Village eatery, the menus are somehow both beautifully simple and very sophisticated. For breakfast, you'll find a balance of old-school comfort (whole grain avocado toast that can be ordered with lobster salad, egg in a hole, and a selection of smoothies) alongside more creative options, like the "nova," a smoked salmon dish with Greek yogurt, and an orange blossom pain perdue that's stewed in blackberries. Dinner, entirely worth booking even for non-hotel guests, is seafood-centric: lump crab cake, a local catch simply grilled, and black linguini with peekytoe crab, all with a side of old bay fries. Photos: Melissa Horn & Fran Parente
Il Mulino108 Wainscott Stone Rd., Wainscott | 631.658.9122
Il Mulino has grown over the years from its original Greenwich Village location (which opened in 1981) to a mini culinary empire, with outposts in Miami and Las Vegas, five New York City spots, and, as of this summer, Wainscott. Regulars will recognize the menu’s familiar favorites—cacio e pepe risotto, garlicky linguine di mare, reliably great chicken parmigiano, and grilled branzino. The building—which has seen a few restaurants come and go—has been totally renovated, and the dining room now has a fresh whitewashed look a stone’s throw from Georgica Pond. Come hungry.
Shuko290 Montauk Hwy, East Hampton | 631.527.5372
This Union Square Japanese sushi spot (unofficially dubbed “Shuko Beach”) pops up in East Hampton’s Highway Restaurant & Bar this summer, taking over the New American restaurant’s space on Friday and Saturday nights (and adding Thursday nights in August). Chefs and Masa alums Nick Kim and Jimmy Lau are offering special chef’s counter dinners, where the omakase menu consists of a sixteen-piece sushi progression (using locally caught Long Island fish) and comes with a front row look at its preparation. With only three seatings a night, at 6, 8, and 10 p.m., reservations are essential.
Moby’s295 Three Mile Harbor Hog Creek Rd., East Hampton | 631.329.2800
Making a comeback this summer is Moby’s, one of the centers of East Hampton’s social scene in 2016, though it skipped last year when the space was scooped up by the Eleven Madison Park pop-up. Its new spot is at East Hampton Point, a harborside resort compound right on the water and an ideal place for a cocktail before grabbing a table on the expansive outdoor deck or in the large dining room (an almost-life-size replica of a sailboat sets the nautical mood). The food is typical of what you’ll find at many high-end restaurants on the East End, which is to say, coastal Italian, but it’s executed almost flawlessly, especially the wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizzas and Montauk swordfish with Cerignola olives, tomatoes, and capers.
Sam’s36 Newtown Ln., East Hampton | 631.324.5900
The beauty of Sam's is its simplicity (not a word that’s often associated with the Hamptons). It’s an old school pizzeria in the best way, with a pine-paneled dining room and vinyl-covered booths where families cozy up to share classic thin crust pies. We love the Sam’s Special (sausage, onions, garlic, peppers, and mushrooms), though the pastas are worth a look, too, especially the rigatoni broccoli rabe in garlic and olive oil and the linguini with fresh, local clams. It’s right in the center of East Hampton, which means you can walk across the street to Scoop du Jour for ice cream after.
Duryea’s Lobster Deck65 Tuthill Rd., Montauk | 631.668.2410
Although it’s been a Montauk staple for decades, the buzz around Duryea’s has grown lately, thanks to a sleek makeover two years ago. Instead of rustic picnic tables and a BYOB policy, there are now bottles of Provençal rosé, white banquettes, and clean-lined, bleached wood tables and chairs that create a setting that wouldn’t look out of place on Mykonos—especially with its waterside view of Fort Pond Bay. The steamed lobster and lobster rolls are a no-brainer, but also consider the perfectly grilled skirt steak, the small plates (baked cherrystone clams and steamers), the lobster club salad, and oysters from Orient Point, just across Gardiner’s Bay.
The Dock482 West Lake Dr., Montauk | 631.668.9778
Like the name suggests, this quirky, divey restaurant sits a few steps away from one of the main fishing docks in Montauk and serves hearty, straightforward dishes of the kind you’d want after a day on the open water (many of the regulars are fishermen). There’s clam chowder, soft shell crab sandwiches, grilled tuna steaks with coleslaw and fries, and a peanut butter and chocolate pie that’s probably the most decadent dessert in Montauk. The decor, meanwhile, is an eclectic mix of taxidermied geese and deer heads, Halloween-worthy masks, and vintage model sailing ships.
Gosman’s Dock500 W Lake Drive, Montauk | 631.668.5330
At the entrance of Montauk Harbor, Gosman’s (which opened in 1943) epitomizes a kind of classic, unfussy seafood restaurant visitors have come to associate with the town. A bright, airy dining room looks out over passing fishing boats, and the menu is dominated by regional comfort food like Atlantic cod fish and chips, baked stuffed clams, steamed lobster, and Maryland-style crab cakes with a corn and jicama slaw. There’s also a walk-up window for those who don’t want a full sit-down meal, where you can order huge lobster rolls and plates of crisp, fried calamari to take to the water for an impromptu picnic.
Dopo la Spiaggia6 Bay St., Sag Harbor | 631.725.7009
In a shingled cottage on a leafy street in Sag Harbor directly facing the water, this little gem is one of our go-to Italian restaurants in the Hamptons. Sure, the setting is almost perfect (we love the tucked-away patio for alfresco dinner on warm evenings, and walks along the marina afterwards), but it’s really the food that keeps us coming back over and over again. The pasta dishes are almost without equal on the East End, and our favorites include the tagliolini (squid ink pasta with bay scallops, shrimp, calamari, chili, and tomatoes) and the ravioli with wild mushrooms and ricotta. It also happens to be our neighbor—the goop pop-up is right next door, for some pre- or post-lunch browsing.